Monday, March 24, 2008


Parking today was easy. I found a spot yesterday at 6:15 P.M., at the far end of K’s St, and when I returned there this morning at 7:30 there were three cars in a space big enough for four. The sweeper was idling at the corner ahead; he started up, went around the block, and reappeared in my new side-view mirror. There was adequate curb space across the street for all of us to pull over diagonally and reverse into position after the broom swept by. Meanwhile a man had approached from ahead to ask us to make room for him. Everyone cooperated, and the new guy in the fourth car fit easily. We were all in place by 7:35.

At eight, the guy ahead of me got out and unlocked the bike fastened to the pole on the sidewalk between our cars. “You ride your bike to your car?” I said, teasing him. I was headed for the grocery store, on foot.

“Yeah,” he said. “I used to live on this block, but I moved.” He named a street about ten blocks away. “The bike is quicker.”

He had a wide sheet of something like tarpaper sticking out from under the lid of his trunk, hanging down behind his car, like a bed skirt, or a horse blanket, concealing his license plate. This is the first time anyone has admitted to me that he came from a different neighborhood to park here. I thought it was interesting that he felt he had to establish his neighborhood pedigree.

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